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Bring Back the Pony Express
February 13, 2008 - Bill Speer
Is is just me or does it also seem to you that the U.S. Postal System is doing everything in its power to work itself out of business?
I'm sure you will join me in rejoicing over the news that the cost of mailing a letter will go up a penny come May 12 to 42 cents. A penny doesn't seem like much, but between gasoline, milk and a host of other items these days, pennies add up quickly.
I admit to not being a fan of the U.S. Postal Service. I have incredible respect for their employees and the folks locally are some of the best I ever have worked with, but the institution as a whole leaves me with a cold feeling.
Part of my frustration lies with the fact that as a newspaper publisher, I rely on the Postal Service to deliver my out-of-area newspapers, yet in the postal bureaucracy such an item is treated like a second-class citizen. So-called reforms last summer only magnified the problem and thus, many of you who are reading this today have come to this site after having given up on your newspaper being delivered days to weeks after publication through U.S. Mail.
The last time the Postal Service raised rates I was waiting for an important piece of mail to arrive at the office here in Alpena from Mackinac Island. Exactly 10 days after it was postmarked, it finally arrived to me.
I don't know about you, but I think I could have had a boat bring it across to the mainland, then had a Pony Express courier pick it up and deliver it to me faster.
If that's the Postal Service's idea of quality service, I'd rather risk my chance with carrier pigeons or smoke signals.
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